Panel for ban on junk food near schools

Panel for ban on junk food near schools

A high-level committee of Ministry of Women and Child Development has recommended banning sale of junk food to children in and around schools.

The committee has said that all the food items which come under the definition of junk food should be banned in school canteens. It also listed some desirable food items that should be offered in school canteens to the benefit of children.

The recommendations also include labelling of pre-packaged food stating clearly as “unfit for infant/children/pregnant and lactating mothers or persons with specific ailments”.

It has also suggested that vendors and street vendors should not be permitted to sell junk food during school timings in the vicinity of 200 metres from a school.

It has further suggested that shops and restaurants located within the limit of 200 metres of a school should not be permitted to sell junk food to children in school uniforms.

The committee, which was set up to look into the growing problem of obesity among children, has given detailed account of how junk food results in psychological or behavioural dysfunction and leads to diseases like diabetes and hypertension. It also says that junk food gives rise to dissatisfaction and low self-esteem among children.

The committee has recommended that the School Health Programme should be renamed as School Health and Nutrition Programme.

The committee has given detailed recommendations regarding establishment and management of school canteens and comprehensive advertisement and promotion campaign to be undertaken jointly by different ministries.
 

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